Trump Sparks Confusion With Moderna Approval Tweet
The US vice president received a Covid-19 vaccine shot live on television Friday in a public display designed to boost national confidence in the drug even as President Donald Trump sparked confusion over approval for a second anti-Covid drug. “Building confidence in the vaccine is what brings us here this morning,” VP Mike Pence said after being injected at the White House, quipping: “I didn’t feel a thing.”
Pence, his wife Karen and the lead public health official in the country, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, were all given the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the annex to the White House. Signalling the importance given to the event, top infectious diseases Anthony Fauci and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield were also in the room.
The notable absence was Trump himself. He has sent mixed messages about the seriousness of Covid-19 throughout the crisis, even as the US death toll topped 300,000 this month. However, he has been keen to take credit for the historic speed of vaccine development. Early Friday he tweeted that a second drug made by Moderna had been “overwhelmingly approved” and that “distribution to start immediately.”